ANTIPOLO CITY -- (UPDATED) Far Eastern University (FEU) avenged a shock defeat on Sunday, when the Tamaraws overwhelmed University of the East (UE), 80-61, in their second-round encounter of the UAAP Season 81 tournament at the Ynares Center.
The Red Warriors' lone victory of the season so far had come against the Tamaraws, as they beat FEU 90-65 in the first round.
The Tamaraws made sure that there would be no repeat of the upset, as they ended a four-game skid and booked their first win of the second round.
"For us, it's a new lease on life," FEU coach Olsen Racela said. "First win namin sa second round, so we're hoping to get the next game, and then another one, to keep our hopes alive."
"Buhay pa ang FEU," he stressed.
They broke the game open in the second quarter, outscoring UE, 20-13, for a 41-26 lead at the break. The Tamaraws limited the Red Warriors to only 8-of-36 shooting in the first two quarters, with UE star Alvin Pasaol making only two of his first 12 attempts.
UE came to within 10 points late in the third quarter, thanks to a 12-3 run anchored by Pasaol that made it 57-47 with 1:26 left in the frame. Pasaol had 9 points in the run, including a three-pointer and a breakaway lay-up that forced FEU coach Olsen Racela to sue for time.
Out of the timeout, the Tamaraws got a badly needed three-pointer from Axel Inigo to end UE's run and Arvin Tolentino added a triple of his own with 41.6 seconds left. Though Pasaol answered with a lay-up, FEU remained in control, 63-49, heading into the payoff period.
They went on to lead by as much as 25 points, 80-55, with 1:18 to play in the game.
From there, the Tamaraws cruised to victory, thus improving to 6-6 in the tournament and getting revenge for their upset loss to the Red Warriors in the first round.
Moreover, they are now tied with University of the Philippines for a share of fourth place in the league standings.
"Anytime you go through a losing streak, there will be doubts. But I have to give it to the boys, they remained positive," said Racela.
Tolentino led FEU with 18 points, while Kenneth Tuffin had 17 points built on five three-pointers. Barkley Ebona had a double-double of 12 points and 16 rebounds for the Tamaraws, who shot 42% from the field in the game and made 15 of their 30 attempts from beyond the arc.
Pasaol finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds, but made only 8 of a whopping 29 field goals. No other UE player came close to reaching double-figures. UE, as a team, shot only 30% from the field.
The Red Warriors dropped to 1-11. It was their seventh consecutive loss of the season.
FEU 80 – Tolentino 18, Tuffin 17, Ebona 12, Bienes 9, Escoto 6, Inigo 6, Gonzales 3, Nunag 3, Parker 2, Stockton 2, Comboy 2, Ramirez 0, Cani 0, Jopia 0
UE 61 – Pasaol 24, Manalang 6, Varilla 6, Cullar 6, Maloles 4, Bartolome 3, Antiporda 3, Gallardo 3, Sobrevega 3, Gagate 2, Conner 1, Beltran 0, Acuno 0
Quarter scores: 21-13, 41-26, 63-49, 80-61
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